(New York) — Today marks ten years since the launch of the UN Global Compact at United Nations Headquarters in New York. On 26 July 2000, a small Global Compact initiative – comprised of just 40 companies, as well as influential civil society, labour and employer organizations – set out on a mission to introduce universal principles to business everywhere.
Ten years later, the Global Compact stands as the world’s largest, global corporate responsibility initiative, with over 8,000 signatories – 6,000 from business and 2,000 from civil society and other non-business groups – based in more than 135 countries committed to implementing the Global Compact principles into business practices and taking actions to advance UN goals, such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
“Our appeal a decade ago for business to ‘initiate a global compact of shared values and principles’ resonates as much, if not more, today,” said Georg Kell, Executive Director of UN Global Compact. “Seen as purely aspirational in the early days, our mission is increasingly achievable – and increasingly called for. There is now broad understanding that our globalized marketplace requires a stronger ethical orientation, better caretaking of the common good, and more comprehensive management of risks.”
The “United Nations Global Compact Annual Review – Anniversary Edition” was developed to mark the occasion – taking stock of the initiative today and highlighting milestones since 2000 in all key areas – including the ten principles, development, Local Networks, Communication on Progress and UN-Business Collaboration.
Additionally, a 10th Anniversary Global Compact Gala Dinner was hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 24 June, as part of the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2010. At the dinner approximately 1,000 Global Compact participants and supporters joined together to celebrate the occasion and recognize champions of the initiative.